Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Tuesday, September 30
“He will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit.”
Eph 3:16 TLB
A lady flew across the nation to tell a talk show host how her husband had left her for another woman. The lady, who was young, vibrant, and beautiful, pulled out a photograph and said, “Just look at her. He left me for that!” The host concluded, “Sadly, we’ve been conditioned to think that ‘looks’ are all-important, when, in fact, they’re not.” Nevertheless we keep measuring, comparing, and beating ourselves up because we fall short. If you can’t enjoy who you are because of what you’re not, you’ll never be happy. Advertisers spend billions of dollars getting us to decorate a shell that’s in a losing battle with Mother Nature and Father Time—all in an effort to create what we think will attract others. And when it doesn’t work, we get depressed and wonder what went wrong. Sure, it’s important to look your best, but when you’re obsessed with your appearance you become superficial. And others lose respect for you because they discover that although the box is beautifully wrapped, it’s empty. If you want to know what ultimately wins hearts and attracts the right people, read these words: “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love…And may you have the power to understand…how long, how high, and how deep his love [for you] is…Then you will be made complete” (vv. 16-19 NLT). That’s the secret to inner beauty!
Wednesday, October 1
“We share in his sufferings…that we may also share in his glory.”
Ro 8:17 NIV
God’s number-one goal for you isn’t comfort, it’s Christlikeness! And to reach it you’ll have to undergo some of the same experiences that Jesus went through—like being misunderstood by your family, ridiculed by church folks, rejected by the world, and disappointed by the people who say they love you. The Bible says we’ve been called to “share in his sufferings…that we may also share in his glory.” So how do we do this? In three ways: (1) Stay focused on God’s plan, not your pain. “Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Heb 12:1-2 NLT). Corrie ten Boom said, “If you look within you’ll feel depressed, if you look without you’ll be distressed, but if you look to Christ you’ll be at rest.” (2) Don’t give in to short-term thinking. Look at Jesus, “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross” (v. 2 NLT). Keep your eye on the end game. You don’t get the trophy until the race is over, so make up your mind to “stay the course” and finish strong. (3) Start praying the right way. When you understand that God’s objective is to make you more like Christ, you’ll start praying fewer “comfort me” prayers and more “conform me” ones. Instead of asking, “Why me, Lord?” you’ll ask, “What do You want me to learn, Lord?” James writes, “Let the process go on until…you have become men [and women] of mature character” (Jas 1:4 PHPS). That’s how you become more Christlike.